Uncharted Ironically Doesn’t Waste

Uncharted is a simple, safe, but ultimately pretty effective introduction to treasure hunter Nathan Drake. Fans of the beloved PlayStation games might be surprised to see how much has changed to fit an Uncharted story in a single movie’s runtime – it squeezes in a new origin story while reenacting action sequences from multiple games – but it all makes for a decently fun sampling of what Nate and Sully have to offer on the big screen.

 

For an origin story, Uncharted ironically doesn’t waste any time explaining the backstories of any of the characters. We’re immediately thrown into the exploits of cocky young thief Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) and veteran treasure hunter Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg), who tries to recruit Nate for an upcoming heist. They’re both looking for the next big score and that’s really all the backstory you need to know. This allows Uncharted to hit the ground running, in a good way; I appreciate that the script doesn’t spend much time on unnecessary exposition, assuming you’re either in for the adventure or not. It doesn’t take long for Nate and Sully to meet up with the mysterious Chloe Frazer (Sophia Ali), a fun and energetic addition who keeps everyone in this world-spanning adventure on their toes.

 

As a fan of the games, the biggest question I had was if Tom Holland could pull off Nathan Drake, playing a slightly younger version of the character we know. The answer, thankfully, is yes. He’s as charismatic as ever, sinking his teeth into playing an Indiana Jones-type. I was never once distracted by the fact that this is the same actor who played Spider-Man in one of the biggest movies ever just a couple months ago.

 

Mark Wahlberg does a decent job playing a wise-cracking mentor to Holland, but some of the things that make Sully so recognizable in the game didn’t survive the transition to the film. Sully is iconic, at least in part, because of his thick mustache and dark, booming voice, none of which Wahlberg has. After all, there’s no reason they couldn’t have thrown a ‘stache on Wahlberg, which even young Sully has in the games. At times, it felt like Mark Wahlberg was just playing Mark Wahlberg in an action movie instead of, you know, Sully. That being said, Wahlberg and Holland have fun chemistry, including some very good emotional scenes, so it’s mostly pretty easy to look past him not being entirely loyal to the source material.

 

The cat-and-mouse plot doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is exactly what I would expect from a movie based on the Uncharted games. Basically, if this were a two-hour video game cutscene (which, I guess, is technically a movie anyway), I never felt like I wanted to press the skip button. We don’t get many moments that lean into its video game origins, but the movie does a fine job bringing the world of Uncharted to life. note: Murder on the Nile Movie

 

It plays it safe, seeing Nate, Sully, and Chloe engaging in witty and sometimes tech-heavy banter that isn’t prevalent in the games (for example, Nate makes fun of Sully for having Tinder on his phone). The trio gets into their fair share of fights, chase scenes, and booby traps as they go about collecting clues, solving puzzles, and traveling the world. It’s all pretty straightforward, but there were plenty of fun reminders that I was watching an Uncharted movie. note: Uncharted Adventure Movie

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